Opened 11 Sep 2008
Written: by Christopher Shinn
Directed: Dominic Cooke
Cast: Matthew Marsh (Presidential candidate), Eddie Redmayne (John Jr), Domhnall Gleeson (John Jr’s best friend), Nancy Crane (Candidate’s wife), Adam James, Pamela Nomvete
Produced: Royal Court
Synopsis: Examines religion, freedom of expression and personal responsibility: Election night in the U.S., and things are looking rosy for the Democratic Party. Holed up in a hotel, watching the results flood in, are the likely President-elect, his wife, advisors and 20 year old son John Jnr. Every speech, interview and photocall has been carefully controlled and meticulously orchestrated, all leading up to this big night. At the same time controversial photos of his gay son John Jnr are gathering momentum on the internet showing him 'attending a party at his Ivy League university dressed as Mohammed. Even worse, an online video shows him simulating oral sex, still dressed as the Prophet.' Whilst his father's advisors work against the clock on damage limitation, it's up to father and son to try and reach an agreement.
What the popular press had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Provocative new play does not shrink from contending with big issues...flawed but gripping play. KATE BASSETT for THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY says, "Dominic Cooke's cast is terrifically sharp on ulterior motives and the treacherous ground between genuinely caring chats and politic manoeuvres. The spiky intelligence of the arguments is riveting, and the ramifications become hugely scary all within the confines of a chamber piece." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "New play of razor-sharp wit and explosive canniness...immaculately acted production...The play raises deep questions. Should liberals respect the religious views of theocrats who may abuse that right to smuggle through hateful political baggage? And how far should you misrepresent your post-election intents to gain power? Unmissable." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, " I admire Shinn for addressing the big issues. I just feel that, in adhering to the currently fashionable 80-minute playwriting rule, he doesn't allow his arguments room to breathe...I simply found that absorbing so many complex arguments in such a short span made my head spin." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "A gripping, daring work." SAM MARLOWE for THE TIMES says, "Playing out in real time over 80 minutes, Now or Later, in a riveting production by Dominic Cooke, sets up some of the most urgent issues facing Western liberalism and lets them battle it out in the amphitheatre of a US presidential election....Cooke's production is thrillingly paced, effervescent with wit and intelligence and superbly acted."